Help To SurpassAuthor: Byron Pulsifer, ©2017
Who is a great leader?
Is a great leader one who appears helpful but does not allow subordinates to grow beyond the leader's knowledge or ability? Is a great leader a person who strives to build subordinates' knowledge and ability so they could easily assume the leader's position? Is a great leader someone who tells others what to do? Do they become so involved in the team that no decisions can be made without them?
A Crucial Question
If you are in a leadership role, a good question to ask yourself is, what kind of leader do I want to work for? Is it someone who helps you develop your skills? Or, is it someone who doesn't want you to develop further skills? Is it someone who encourages team members to make decisions weighing the pros and cons? Or, is it someone who directs team members to come to them with every decision that needs to be made?
After you determine the answer, ask yourself, are you that kind of leader? Would you want to work for yourself? When you think back over your careers, who were the leaders that were great; the ones that brought out the best in people? I think the answer is obvious.
This inspirational quote said by Fred A. Manske Jr., summarizes the point: "The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability."
The person who is unselfish in sharing knowledge, who makes a concerted effort to develop a person's skills to the highest level they desire (recognizing that not everyone wants to do this), is one who applauds each and every refined or developed ability.
This type of person creates a positive environment; an environment of growth rather than an environment of stagnation. This is a positive environment that encourages decisions and if a mistake is made then we learn from the mistake rather than have the fear of making a mistake. An environment of growth where information is shared, personal development is encouraged, and discussions occur to help everyone grow and learn.
Do Not Be Discouraged
In some circumstances, however, no matter what role you are in, either as a leader, or in a subordinate role to a leader, you may have to take responsibility for your own growth and development. The point here is that what you are not doing is allowing someone else to determine your potential. If this means, for example, that you have to enroll in a course outside the job, so be it. After all, at the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible anyway for developing enhanced or new skills.
In a lot of cases, people often question whether they really have a leader in their current position. This often means, instead, that the person in charge is more about keeping control than about helping employees to move further up the food chain.
A Boss, Not A Leader
These types of people, simply put, are not leaders but are bosses. A boss is a person who has been put in charge; it is a person who sees their role more about keeping everything the same, maintaining the status quo. This type of person is often concerned about their own job, their own future rather than anyone else's future.
After all, this type of person sees their role threatened by anyone who shows potential to surpass them. The overarching mentality of this type of boss is fear for their own job. To them, it is far safer to keep everyone from expanding their talents because they believe that to suppress is to guarantee their job.
Remember, however, to believe in yourself, and be all that you were created to be! You do not have to nor are you required to stay locked in a position that prevents your professional growth.
There Are Always Options
There are options that you can put into play to move beyond what someone else may be preventing you from doing in your current job. These options may not be easy; these options may require you to start at a lower position than your current level. But, if a new or different position allows you to grow, or sees you in a position where you report to a leader and not a boss, it may be the best move you've ever made.
You have a choice to stay where you are. You may decide that it is better to wait it out hoping that your current boss moves on, or retires. If this option is your choice, be prepared to spend a long time doing the same job for months, or even years. The downside of this strategy is that your boss may stay until retirement and if you are close to the same age, you could be in for a very long wait. Are you willing and mentally able to stay?
Are you willing to continue working in the same job when you know deep down that you have a lot more to offer?
You may have the opportunity to apply to a different company where your current skills are in demand. However, this may mean that you have to take a lower paid salary until you are able to acquire seniority, or a promotion. On the other hand, you may see a new company as an opportunity only to learn that the person you report is the same or worse than your last boss.
The opportunity here, however, is that you may already know someone who is working at the company you are looking to join. This person would be able to give you an inside view point of the company, its' philosophy in regards to employee development, and an inside peek as to current issues within this company.
If you are able to utilize this option, take some time to check out the company and what it does to assist or train its' employees. It is far better to know what you are getting into than to simply jump to another company to only learn you made a mistake.
Forget about waiting it out or finding a new company to work for. Take the bull by the horns and spread your wings. What does this mean? Simply put, take control of your own future and stop waiting for the crumbs to fall into place. Surpass the rest of the people who are right alongside of you hoping for the same thing. The strategy is straight forward but it requires you to take bold action, it takes time, perseverance and a stick to it attitude.
The opportunity lies in signing up for additional training using your own money and spending time. The money spent means taking courses at night school, or online. It means that you will have to give up some of your free time while still doing your current job. It means staying with this strategy despite friends who tell you are wrong, or that you are missing out on some fun activities.
But, here is the point to always remember: you are in the driver's seat. No one can stop you from learning, from preparing to move forward, or from excelling in an area that you know you can master.
What Suits You
Of all the options outlined above, which is the most appealing to you? Which option leads you to where you want to go? Which option puts you in control instead of someone else's? You decide.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"You are the only person on earth who can use your ability." Zig Ziglar
"Ability is what you can do, attitude is whether you will do it." Catherine Pulsifer
"Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration. You are not here to fritter away your precious hours when you have the ability to accomplish so much by making a slight change in your routine. No more busy work. No more hiding from success. Leave time, leave space, to grow. Now. Now! Not tomorrow!" Og Mandino
"They who know how to employ opportunities will often find that they can create them; and what we can achieve depends less on the amount of time we possess than on the use we make of our time." John S. Mill
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